Wednesday, September 15, 2010

15 September 2010

Presbyterians Week Headlines

[1] Son of ARP Pastor Killed in Iraq 7 September 2010

[2] Possibility of New Meeting for Investigatory Commission of ARP General Synod on Erskine College and Seminary

[3] First Two Presbyterian Church in America Presbyteries to Consider BCO 14 Changes Overwhelmingly Vote Against the Amendments

[4] Largest Church of Scotland Investment Portfolio Loses UK£20 Million between April and June 2010, Precipitating Cash Crisis

[5] Great Britain’s Presbyterian and Reformed Denominations React to Pope’s Visit

[6] Threatened Koran Burning Evokes Various Responses

[7] Inconvenient Truths and Useful Idiocy

[8] 110th Anniversary of the Johnstown-Windber (Pennsylvania) Hungarian Reformed Church to be Celebrated 25-26 September 2010


[1] Son of ARP Pastor Killed in Iraq 7 September 2010

U.S. Army Pfc. James McClamrock, 22, son of Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church pastor the Rev. J. Mark McClamrock of the Concord ARP Church in Concord, North Carolina, was killed 7 September 2010 while on a security detail at a base north of Baghdad, Iraq, when an Iraqi soldier opened fire on the Americans. One other U.S. soldier was killed in the attack and nine U.S. soldiers were wounded. The Iraqi gunman was killed.

In addition to his father, James McClamrock is survived by his wife Shannah, his mother Susan, and two sisters Kathryn and Caroline.

A funeral service for James McClamrock is scheduled for 17 September 2010 at 4:00 p.m. EDT at the Forest Hill United Methodist Church in Concord, North Carolina.

We of the Christian Observer extend our deepest sympathies to the McClamrock family and to the congregation of Concord ARP Church.

+ The Charlotte Observer, 600 South Tryon Street, Charlotte, North Carolina 28202, 704-358-5000,

+ Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, 1 Cleveland Street Suite 110, Greenville, South Carolina, 29601, 864-232-8297, Fax: 864-271-3729

+ U.S. Army, 1400 Defense Pentagon, Washington DC 20301, 703-697-0050

[2] Possibility of New Meeting for Investigatory Commission of ARP General Synod on Erskine College and Seminary

A 9 September 2010 ARPTalk article by Charles W. Wilson titled “Will the Investigatory Commission Meet Again?” reports, that by virtue of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (ARP)’s 2010 General Synod meeting not being adjourned, the Investigatory Commission of General Synod on Erskine College and Theological Seminary “was not dismissed and is still functioning in accordance with its charge to investigate and report on Erskine matters,” and may in fact soon be meeting to deal with new matters regarding Erskine.

The rumored commission meeting agenda may include the latest proposal from the attorneys for plaintiffs David Chesnut, Richard Taylor, and Parker Young, who filed a lawsuit and requested injunctions against the ARP General Synod after the March 2010 called meeting of the ARP General Synod voted to take several steps to deal with urgent matters of concern at Erskine. Since the abbreviated synod meeting in June 2010, the plaintiff’s attorneys have proffered several settlement proposals which added stipulations to the Patrick-Wingate Compromise adopted by the ARP General Synod in the June 2010 meeting that would guarantee that no ecclesiastical charges will be brought against plaintiffs Richard Taylor and Parker Young by their presbyteries. The ARP General Synod has held throughout the negotiations strictly to the explicit terms of the compromise voted upon by the highest court of the ARP Church at the June 2010 ARP General Synod meeting.

ARPTalk Editor Charles W. Wilson speculates that the plaintiffs may be seeking a settlement at this time because there is a great likelihood that the South Carolina Appeals Court may rule against the plaintiffs in the only one of the original five injunctions against the ARP General Synod not summarily dismissed in an earlier appeals court action.

ARPTalk Editor Wilson too speculates that the rumored commission meeting agenda may include the case of Erskine student Zach Keuthan, who reported that Erskine professor Dr. Bill Crenshaw told Keuthan that he was a liar and to enjoy his evangelical hell. Mr. Keuthan first filed a complaint with then Erskine President Randy Ruble, filed a subsequent appeal with the Erskine Board, and then subsequently filed an appeal with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).

ARPTalk Editor Wilson additionally speculates that the commission agenda may include the upcoming October 2010 meeting of the Erskine Board, where it is expected that an attempt will be made by the board to remove the ARP General Synod from the governance of Erskine.

+ ARPTalk Blog, 864-882-6337,

+ Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, 1 Cleveland Street Suite 110, Greenville, South Carolina, 29601, 864-232-8297, Fax: 864-271-3729

+ Erskine College and Theological Seminary, 2 Washington Street, Due West, South Carolina 29639, 864-379-2131, 864-379-2167,

+ Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033, 404-679-4500, Fax: 404-679-4558,

[3] First Two Presbyterian Church in America Presbyteries to Consider BCO 14 Changes Overwhelmingly Vote Against the Amendments

An 11 September 2010 article by Dominic Aquila in The Aquila Report titled “Updated 9/12: Two PCA Presbyteries Vote Against Approving Proposed BCO 14 Amendments” reports that the first two Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) presbyteries to vote on the proposed amendments to the PCA Book of Church Order sent to the presbyteries by the 38th PCA General Assembly, the Wisconsin Presbytery and the Northwest Georgia Presbytery, voted overwhelmingly against approval of the amendments.

Dr. Aquila writes: “The amendments would require churches, Presbyteries and teaching elders to pay an annual registration fee in order to have the ability to vote [at the PCA General Assembly meetings].”

+ The Aquila Report, c/o Metokos Press, 211 Main Street, Suite 108, Narrows, Virginia 24124, 540-726-8223,

+ Presbyterian Church in America, 1700 North Brown Road, Suite 105, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30043, 678-825-1000, Fax: 678-825-1001,

[4] Largest Church of Scotland Investment Portfolio Loses UK£20 Million between April and June 2010, Precipitating Cash Crisis

A 13 September 2010 article by Brian Donnelly in
The Herald titled “Kirk Faces New Cash Crisis as [UK]£20m is Wiped from Portfolio” reports that the Church of Scotland (CoS)’s largest investment portfolio, the Growth Fund, lost UK£20 million between April and June 2010. The Growth Fund has included major holdings with BP and Vodafone.

The CoS Reserve Fund is expected to be exhausted by 2010, as the CoS is running yearly deficits of UK£5 million maintaining ministers’ salaries and other expenses.

+ The Herald, 200 Renfield Street, Glasgow, Scotland G2 3QB, 0141- 302-7000, Fax: 0141-302-7117,

Church of Scotland, 121 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 4YN, Scotland, 0131-225-5722

[5] Great Britain’s Presbyterian and Reformed Denominations React to Pope’s Visit

Several of Great Britain’s Presbyterian and Reformed denominations have reacted in various ways to the upcoming visit of Roman Catholic (RC) pontiff Pope Benedict XVI.

A 13 September 2010 article by Jenna Lyle in
Christian Today titled “Churches Welcome Pope’s Visit to Britain” reports that the United Reformed Church (URC) said the lead taken by RC bishops in moral and spiritual reflection was “of benefit to all,”, and URC General Secretary the Rev. Roberta Rominger said she hoped the visit would “energise” and “inspire” the church.

A 14 September 2010 BBC article titled “Presbyterian Moderator Refuses to Shake the Pope's Hand” reports that Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) Moderator Dr. Norman Hamilton plans to attend a 17 September 2010 service in Westminster that will be attended by Pope Benedict XVI and the Archbishop of Canterbury, but that Dr. Hamilton turned down the opportunity to be presented to the Pope after the service because of "troubling issues" which needed to be addressed, mainly the sexual abuse scandals in the RC church.

A 12 September 2010 BBC article by William Crawley titled “Free Presbyterian Leader Challenges Moderator over Service with Pope” reports that Free Presbyterian Church in Ireland (FPCI) Moderator the Rev. Ron Johnstone strongly criticizes PCI Moderator Hamilton for attending the upcoming 17 September 2010 service, saying:

“I was going to say it shocks me, but I suppose it doesn't. I think it is very sad that he would go to such a thing. The Pope claims that the Presbyterian Church in Ireland is a false church. He claims that we should recognise him as the head of all Christians. And surely the Westminster Confession that Mr. Hamilton signed is totally opposed to the teachings of Rome. Both can't be right: either Romanism is right or the New Testament is right. And I'm sure a lot of Irish Presbyterians will be shocked that they are represented at a meeting with the Pope.”

A 14 September 2010 article by Claire Smith in The Scotsman titled “Ian Paisley Coming to Edinburgh in Protest over Pope's Visit” reports that the Rev. Ian Paisley and sixty other FPCI ministers from Northern Ireland are travelling to Edinburgh, Scotland, to protest against the state visit of the Roman pontiff, first congregating at Magdalen Chapel in Cowgate, Edinburgh, Scotland, in a church where John Knox once preached, then staging a public protest in the Grassmarket where they will unfurl a banner objecting to the papal visit.

A 14 September 2010 by Dan Keenan in The Irish Times titled “Paisley to be 'Champion' for Child Sex Abuse Victims” reports that Paisley is putting himself forward as “a champion” for the victims of child sex abuse by RC priests, commenting: ““[The Pope] is coming to this country at a time when his own church is very deeply divided, and rightly so, because of the behaviour of many priests within the church and his evident desire not to enter into this matter and deal with it….I think that I have a right – everybody has a right – to make their presence felt on this issue.”

In a related matter, a 9 September 2010 Belfast Telegraph article titled “Tony Blair Advised Not to Become a Catholic by Ian Paisley” reports that Paisley met with former Prime Minister of Great Britain Tony Blair the day that Blair converted to Roman Catholicism, and tried to dissuade Blair from doing so. Paisley said of his unsuccessful attempt: “Well, I said I was going to say a few things and I said them — as a real Christian — because this was a matter of eternity.”

+ Christian Today, 200 Great Dover Street, London SE1 4YB, England, 020-7378-5705

+ BBC, 201 Wood Lane, London W12 7TS, England, Fax: 020-8008-2398

+ The Scotsman, Barclay House, 108 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8AS, Scotland, 131-620-8620

+ The Irish Times Limited, The Irish Times Building, 24-28 Tara Street, Dublin 2, Irish Republic, 353-1-675-8000,

+ Belfast Telegraph, 124-144 Royal Avenue, Belfast BT1 1EB, Northern Ireland, 028-9026-4000,

+ United Reformed Church, Church House, 86 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9RT, England, 020-7916-2020, Fax: 020-7916-2021,

Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Church House, Belfast BT1 6DW, Northern Ireland, 028-9032-2284, Fax: 028-9041-7301,

Free Presbyterian Church in Ireland,

The Vatican, Città del Vaticano, Rome, Italy, 39-6-69-88-35-11, Fax: 39-6-69-88-54-47, Contact Page

[6] Threatened Koran Burning Evokes Various Responses

Threats by Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville,
Florida, to burn a copy of the Koran has evoked outrage and threatenings by Muslims worldwide, and has wrought varying reactions among U.S. Christians.

Pleas made by the Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the
Christian Defense Coalition and the Rev. Rob Schenck of the National Clergy Council and Faith and Action in the Nation’s Capital to Pastor Jones to cancel plans to burn the Koran were at first successful, but remain questionable, as Pastor Jones claims that he was misled by a Muslim Imam who told Jones plans to build a thirteen-story mosque at Ground Zero in New York City, New York, had been cancelled.

In his 9 September 2010 Internet audio broadcast, Randall Terry said, that in the efforts to convince Pastor Jones to cancel the Koran burning, the Rev. Rob Schenck was mistaken in his portrayal of Christ and Christianity. Terry asked: “Is burning a Quran just? And next, is it prudent?”; then reviewed Old Testament judgments of God by fire and the Apostle Paul’s burning of "sacred" books on witchcraft, the destruction of pagan worship sites by the church throughout history, and the building of Roman Catholic cathedrals using the ruins of these pagan temples; and concluded by asking: “Should we condemn our spiritual forebears because they did not "show respect" to false religions?...”

The founder and President of BOND Action Inc., the Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, described Pastor Jones’ threat to burn the Koran “foolish and unnecessary,” then blasted U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama and senior members of his cabinet for their hypocrisy and selective outrage over the incident, saying: “For Barack Obama to condemn the
Florida pastor, yet endorse the radical Muslim cleric's plan to erect a victory Muslim mosque near hallowed grounds is dangerous and hypocritical. Eric Holder and Hillary Clinton have reportedly condemned the proposed Quran burning as 'idiotic' and 'disgraceful.' If it weren't for Obama and his administration ripping this pastor, this issue would not have been elevated to an international crisis.”

On 11 September 2010, in front of the White House, Andrew Beacham asked: "Why should we respect a book that denies Christ, denies the Trinity, calls us infidels, and declares that God wants Christians and Jews banished, imprisoned, crucified, or murdered?", then Beacham tore the following passages from a Koran:

Chapter 5: 17 – 19; States Christians are infidels for believing Christ is the Son of God.

Chapter 5: 33; Cut off hands and feet, crucify, and banish those who stand against Islam.

Chapter 5: 51; Muslims forbidden to take Christians and Jews for friends.

Chapter 5: 72-75; Christians are infidels; for believing in Deity of Christ; Passage denies Holy Trinity,

Chapter 8: 12-15; Decapitate infidels; i.e., those who stand against Mohammad.

Chapter 9: 5, 6; Slay Idolaters

Chapter 33: 26, 27; Passage justifies the beheading of hundreds of Jewish men, enslavement of their wives and children, and the spoiling of their property.

Chapter 33: 61-62; God wants the murder of those who stand against Islam.

Chapter 47: 1-4; Kill those who do not believe in Mohammad.

+ Christian News Wire, 2020 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, Washington DC 20006, 202-546-0054,

+ Randall Terry, Box 23775, Washington DC 20026, 904-687-9804, Contact Page

+ Christian Defense Coalition, Post Office Box 77168, Washington DC 20013, 202-547-1735,

+ National Clergy Council, 109 Second Street Northeast, Washington DC 20002, 202-546-8329, Fax: 202-546-6864,

Faith and Action in the Nation’s Capital, 109 Second Avenue Northeast, Washington DC 20002, 202-546-8329, Fax: 202-546-6864,

+ BOND Action Inc., Post Office Box 35586, Los Angeles, California 90035, 877-932-2877,

[7] Inconvenient Truths and Useful Idiocy

The website “islam: the religion of peace (and a big stack of dead bodies)” states: “If the desecration of your holy book bothers you more than the desecration of your children, then your religion must be Islam,” and provides several inconvenient truths about Islamic terrorism including:

-- As of 14 September 2010 at 9:50 p.m. EDT, Islamic terrorists have carried out 16,051 deadly terror attacks since 11 September 2001.

-- During the thirty days of Ramadan 2010, there were 226 Islamic terror attacks that killed 1028 people. The only other terror attack in the name of a religion that occurred during the same period was the murder in Tiangia,
Orissa, India, of the former leader of a Hindu extremist organization who had converted to Christianity and was attending a Baptist church.

-- During the week of 28 August – 3 September 2010, there were forty-three Islamic jihad attacks, killing 269 people and critically injuring 758 people.

-- During August 2010, there were 196 Islamic jihad attacks in twenty-three countries that killed 811 people and critically injured 1602 people.

Meanwhile, a 12 September 2010 WCCO-TV article by Heather Brown titled “Chaska Church Reads Quran during Service” reports that on Sunday, 12 September 2010, the Rev. Gordon Stewart, pastor of Shepherd of the Hill Presbyterian Church (
Presbyterian Church (PCUSA)) in Chaska, Minnesota, invited Dr. Ghafar Lakanwal, a naturalized American citizen and a former agriculture minister in Afghanistan, to read to the congregation several passages from the Koran. Dr. Lakanwal told the congregation that it is important to tell people that the Koran promotes peace, especially after 11 September 2001, saying: "Learn, not burn. We have to learn and then we have to not burn. We have to work together, we have to respect each other like Muslim [sic] respect the Bible and the Torah."

And, on the other side of the world, a 13 September 2010 article in TMCNews titled “Presbyterian Church, Too” reports that the Moderator of the
Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, The Rt. Rev. Prof. Emele Mba Uka, in a goodwill message to Muslims on the occasion of the Eid el-Fitr festival at the end of Ramadan fasting, said that religious harmony can only be guaranteed when religious leaders take up with all seriousness their responsibility of teaching their followers to observe the law and not take it into their own hands. Prof. Emele Mba Uka additionally stressed the need to promote shared values as contained in the religions’ Holy Books, to not emphasize religious differences, and to appreciate the fact that we all come from one God, no matter our religious affiliations.

+ islam: the religion of peace (and a big stack of dead bodies),


+ WCCO-TV, 90 South 11th Street,
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403, Contact Page

+ TMCNews, 800 Connecticut Avenue, 1st Floor East,
Norwalk, Connecticut 06854, 203-852-6800, Fax: 203-866-3326,

Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), 100 Witherspoon Street, Louisville, Kentucky 40202, 888-728-7228, Fax: 502-569-8005

+ Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, 26 Ehere Road, Post Office Box 2635, Aba, Abia, Nigeria, 082-234-780

[8] 110th Anniversary of the Johnstown-Windber (Pennsylvania) Hungarian Reformed Church to be Celebrated 25-26 September 2010

The 110th Anniversary of the Johnstown-Windber Hungarian Reformed Church
will be celebrated by the congregation, according to its Calvinist heritage, Saturday and Sunday 25-26 September 2010, at the Cambria City church at 824 Chestnut Street,
Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

The bishop of
Calvin Synod, the Rt. Rev. Bela Poznan, will address worshippers in his first visit since his election in May 2010. The Divine Service of Thanksgiving will be at 11:00 a.m., with the participation of area clergy, followed by a luncheon in the social room. All former members and guest worshippers are invited.

On Sunday, 26 September, the church will continue its celebration, observing the festival of New Bread with the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. The congregation, in its affiliation with the
Calvin Synod, is in connection with the United Church of Christ.

+ Calvin Synod, C/O Rt. Rev. Koloman K. Ludwig, General Secretary, 7319 Tapper Avenue, Hammond, Indiana 46324, 219-931-4321,

United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115, 216-736-2100,